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"New To World - Advice For First Battle?" Topic

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ChesterTracy17 Jan 2021 11:53 p.m. PST

Hi Everyone, Hope you're all keeping well. Sorry to bother you all but I'm after a bit of advice.

I'm brand new to this world and have been challenged by my father-in-law (who has played on and off for 25-30 years) to a battle next weekend using a slightly paired down version of the "In The Grand Manner" rules.

I've been studying Peter Gilder's text and purchased my own tape measure, but can any seasoned pros offer advice/key points to remember/strategy that may give me a chance of victory (or at the very least not embarrass myself too much!)?

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2021 1:23 a.m. PST

Much depends on the size of your force; brigade? division? And its makeup; cavalry, infantry, guns? Advice on battles can fill books and indeed has done. However, maybe a few basic points will help.

1. Fight with your arms supporting each other. That means do not use your artillery, cavalry and infantry independently. Make sure they work together as a team.

2. Identify and maintain your aim. What are the victory conditions? Identify them and push everything towards attaining them.

3. 'Kick, don't spit'. A quote from a later general which means concentrate your power. Do not fritter units away all over the place.

Start with these points and you have a basis for success. They have certainly served me well. Good luck!

45thdiv Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2021 2:11 a.m. PST

Protect your flanks. Make sure your units are not advancing independently. I left my left flank open and my opponent took out my artillery by flanking it. Oh, and just because your horse artillery can normally move faster, don't get the out alone.


cavcrazy18 Jan 2021 4:57 a.m. PST

Shelter your reserves, keeping them as centered as possible so that you can support more efficiently. Make sure you don't over extend with your cavalry.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2021 7:25 a.m. PST

But most important -- have fun and bond with your father-in-law!


79thPA Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2021 7:46 a.m. PST

Are you new to Napoleonics, or completely new to historical gaming?

Your FiL should be teaching you as you go.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse18 Jan 2021 8:31 a.m. PST

Unless your FiL is just interested in setting you up for a fall, he should be giving you general advice before the battle.
Like when you should deploy skirmishes.
Like whether you should form square.
If you have good solid infantry or nervous militia.
Things like that.
"See, right here, I haven't un-limbered my artillery. Your light cavalry might be able to catch and destroy them, but I have a 50% chance to counter that with my heavy cavalry here. Your choice."
That kind of thing.
It really depends on the nationality of the army you will be playing.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2021 11:42 a.m. PST

Keep clear fields of fire and have reserves handy. Even if it means taking some chances on your flanks, have someone you can use to counter his movements or exploit a success. Remember you can't be strong everywhere.

But a first game is a learning experience, and this is a chance to get to know and to be known by new family. Fun and good sportsmanship are the important things.

paul liddle19 Jan 2021 1:49 a.m. PST

Please let us know how the battle went ChesterTracy, we'll be waiting with bated breath.

ChesterTracy24 Jan 2021 3:36 a.m. PST

Thanks for all your responses, I really appreciate it!

Currently in the middle of a 2-day game. My partner and I are British forces and my FiL the French.

He hasn't played it for a number of years so it's all a bit of a learning curve but it's amazing how quickly once picking up the rules/mechanics of the game that errors in initial deployment are glaringly obvious (and will probably lead to my downfall!

For those that asked, I'm completely new to historical gaming, so a lot to take on but enjoying it!

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